Twenty-two students at the Brigham Young University in US, owned and run by the Mormon church, have made a video for the It Gets Better project, where they talk about reconciling faith and sexuality.
The campaign was originally launched by the gay-rights campaigner Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller in 2010, following a string of suicides among LGBT teenagers across the US. The project has currently around 40,000 videos on YouTube.
The video contains many openly gay and lesbian members of the University, as well as their “straight allies.” It is, according to local media, one more sign of changing attitudes in the campus towards its LGBT community, estimated to be some 1800-strong.
On Wednesday, some 600 students crammed into a room that seated only 260, in order to listen to four students discuss what it means to be gay and Mormon, as the Church of the Latter Day Saints teaches that same-sex attraction is sinful. Indeed, it was only a few years ago that the school’s Honor Code was amended to admit openly gay students, as long as they avoid physical intimacy with each other on the campus. Chastity before marriage is a definite requirement as part of the Code.
Adam White, 21, who appeared both on the panel and in the YouTube video, told The Salt Lake Tribune: “We’re trying to live it and create new spaces for us to be gay and Mormon and be active in the church… That in and of itself is an ‘it gets better’ message.”